Showing posts from August, 2011

Ganpati Bappa Morya

Its that time of the year when we embrace the adorable Elephant faced God-the remover of all obstacles! Happy Birthday Ganpati Bappa! And wishing all you guys a great Ganpati festival. Enjoy your modaks.:)

Eid Mubarak

A festival that embraces love, peace and brotherhood under the sweet fragrance of the moon! Eid mubarak guys! God Bless!

Happy B'day Lord Krishna

His playful days in Vrindavan were stories which made our childhood days as mystical as the mythological stories. Happy B'day Lord Krishna! And Janmashtami greetings guys! Don't forget to get your share of butter.:)

Pahalgam: The colour of paradise

By Swetha Amit

What was once a humble shepherds' village is now converted into India's most scenic tourist spot. The mesmerising beauty of this place is what beckons Indian filmmakers. One can never feel bored here as time seems to fly just gazing at the exotic beauty of the streams and mountains. We drove down from Gulmarg to Pahalgam, on the way stopping at three must-visit places.

Ruins of an ancient temple: We first halted at the Avantipur temple ruins. This was built by King Avantivarman in the 9th century. It is well known for two huge shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. A guide showed us around and told us its fascinating history. The well-maintained gardens and ruins possessed a mysterious charm and we could see the past engraved on the walls. We were told that the Pandavas took refuge here during their exile. After capturing its beauty on camera, we continued on our drive.

Howzzat: Kashmir is know…

Gulmarg: The land of winter sports


By Swetha Amit

Moving ahead from Sonamarg, we travelled to Gulmarg, 'the meadow of flowers'. A beautiful hillock area set at an altitude of 2,653m, it is surrounded by fir trees and snow-clad peaks. It was a long but interesting drive, and we made a few stops.

Bowing down to the goddess: We first stopped at the temple of Goddess Kheer Bhawani, a Hindu pilgrimage centre second in importance after the Amarnath cave. Situated in the middle of a pool of spring water, the temple is built of marble and has a golden dome. One of the unique features of the spring water is that it changes colour. Black is considered a bad omen, foretelling disaster.

Around the lake in 80 minutes: We moved on to Wular Lake, one of the largest fresh water lakes in Asia. The large lake looked intimidating. Unlike the shikara ride on Dal lake, which was bustling with tourists, this one was quiet. We rowed along enjoying the mild afternoon sun …

Sonamarg: Galloping up the glacier


-By Swetha Amit

We left Srinagar for a three-hour drive to Sonamarg, which in Hindi means the 'meadow of gold'. A trip to Kashmir is incomplete without a visit to Sonamarg and the Thajiwas Glacier, where it snows year-round. A trekker's paradise, this place is just 84km from the city and a memorable journey as the landscape abounds with gurgling streams.

Going with the flow: Situated at an altitude of 3,000km above sea level, the drive to Sonamarg is spectacular. We drive alongside the Sindh river. Streams adorned with pebbles, the little tea shop in the vicinity and segments of the glacier on the sides of the road only added to the beauty as we drove to our accommodation.

Dressing up like Eskimos: The road afforded breathtaking views of the snow-capped Himalayas. As we started to explore, horsemen offered to take us to the Thajiwas Glacier. Equipped with coats and boots designed for a walk in the snow, available o…

Scent of the Mughals


By Swetha Amit
After exploring the Dal Lake on a shikara, we set off to explore the rest of Srinagar. The city has a unique blend of beauty, history and tradition. A visit here would be incomplete without a trip to the Mughal gardens, Shankaracharya temple, Hazratbal shrine, Jamia Masjid and the shops in the market. We began our tour with a visit to the Shankaracharya temple.

In God's abode: The Shankaracharya temple nestled on Takht-i-Sulaiman hill, which is about 1,000 feet above Srinagar. Being a Sunday, the road up the slope was filled with cars. After security checks, we went by car upto the landing of the stairs leading to the temple. We had to climb multiple steps to reach the holy abode. From the top, we got a beautiful view of the picturesque valley. A visit to this ancient shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva is a a soulful experience. Stone steps once led to the Jhelum river from the shrine. It is built at the site whe…

Kashmir: Paradise on earth

By Swetha Amit

If there was a heaven on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here,” exclaimed Emperor Jahangir when he saw Kashmir, and Swetha Amit agrees wholeheartedly
Swetha Amit

17 August 2011

The word ‘Kashmir’ evokes mixed responses from people. It could be pride about its beauty, from those who have visited the paradise as they term it, or fear due to its security issues. It was a ‘Is it safe to go there’ statement which greeted us when we mentioned about our short vacation to Kashmir. What was India’s top tourist destination and one of the most sought-after in the world once, is considered a terror capital today. Unresolved issues and political turbulence have affected tourism. However, behind this veil of problems lies a beautiful valley that one could only imagine on picturesque postcards.

Taking advantage the stable situation now, we decided to explore this heavenly abode. We came back awestruck by its resplendent bea…


Just got back after a fantastic trip to Leh,Ladakh. It was an adventurous and an unusual experience up the mountains. Driving through the passes at at altitude of 18000 feet amidst snowfall was the closest one could get to nature. We visited a lot of intriguing monasteries, the Nubra valley which is known for its Bacterian double humped camels. We also camped overnight here at Hunder village. After which we visited Pangong lake which is close to the Indo-China border. Leh,Ladakh is unique and a destination which would put India on the globe. A detailed version coming up later.

I am Kalam: Profound and stirring

Some small budget films evoke several emotions in a person that can put blockbusters to shame. 'I am Kalam' is one such movie which manages to tap the sensitive side of the viewers.

Set in Rural Rajasthan, the film revolves around a young boy Chottu who is employed in a Dhaba run by Gulshan Grover. Instead of going to school, Chottu washes vessels, serves the tourists and manages to charm them with his earnest ways. However the thought of reading never evades the young lad as his fascination for learning comes through the movie.

He befriends the son of the Thakur, a school going boy who also yearns for some good company. Gradually a bond forms between the two as one aspires to learn something from the other. The film slowly takes a turn into how Chottu is accused of being a thief and forced to run away to Delhi. As the truth unveils itself, a search party goes to Delhi to bring back Chottu to the land of the sand dunes and restore his righful position in the school premises al…

Friendship day

Friends are like rainbows, they brighten up your life when you have been through a storm. Happy Friendship day!!!

'Soul Surfer': Soul stirring

Some movies tend to instil faith in life and yourself. Soul Surfer is one such film which gives a heart-warming message.

Based on a true story, it’s about a girl named Bethany Hamilton who aspires to be a professional surfer. She is all set to participate in the competition to win the title. However fate takes its cruel turn as she loses an arm in a brutal shark attack.

The story goes on to narrate how she copes up after this traumatic experience. Her courage and grit propels her to take a plunge into the waves again. She takes part in the competition and manages to score points for her highest wave. However due to the incompletion of her surf within the time limit, she loses out on the title. The beautiful dialogue follows this climax where she says even though she didn’t win, the last wave did make a difference.

The movie teaches one a lot. Winning isn’t everything in life. What matters is whether the attempt makes a difference to our state of mind. Despite losing an arm, Bethany doesn…